25 days in Tennessee, Kentucky & Houston Itinerary

25 days in Tennessee, Kentucky & Houston Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States tour itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Memphis
— 1 night
Drive
2
Nashville
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Bowling Green
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Louisville
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Pigeon Forge
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Chattanooga
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Houston
— 7 nights
Fly

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Memphis

— 1 night

Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll

The largest city on the Mississippi River, Memphis bills itself as both the "Birthplace of Rock" and "Home of the Blues." With such a rich musical heritage, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Elvis Presley chose to live in Memphis during his later years.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Fri): appreciate the history behind National Civil Rights Museum - Lorraine Motel. On the 18th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: examine the collection at Graceland and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Memphis Zoo.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Memphis trip itinerary maker.

Sacramento to Memphis is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 2 hours. In December, daytime highs in Memphis are 55°F, while nighttime lows are 38°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Nashville.

Things to do in Memphis

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums

Nashville

— 4 nights

Music City U.S.A.

Known as the capital of country music, the thriving city of Nashville combines old-world southern charm with a progressive urban flair.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Stones River National Battlefield and Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Discover out-of-the-way places like Cheekwood and Lotz House Museum. Change things up with a short trip to Carter House in Franklin (about 30 minutes away). And it doesn't end there: work some fitness into your day at Centennial Park, take a stroll through Downtown Franklin, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and catch a live performance at Grand Ole Opry.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Nashville online trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Memphis to Nashville takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Nashville can reach 53°F, while at night they dip to 36°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to drive to Bowling Green.

Things to do in Nashville

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

Bowling Green

— 2 nights
Bowling Green is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Warren County, Kentucky, United States. On the 23rd (Thu), see the interesting displays at National Corvette Museum and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo. On the next day, trek along Fat Man's Misery and then explore the fascinating underground world of Lost River Cave.

To see more things to do, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Bowling Green attractions planner.

Getting from Nashville to Bowling Green by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. December in Bowling Green sees daily highs of 51°F and lows of 33°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Louisville.

Things to do in Bowling Green

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Louisville

— 2 nights

Derby City

Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville, is best known as the home of the Kentucky Derby.
On the 25th (Sat), take in the views from The Big Four Bridge and then explore the fascinating underground world of Louisville Mega Cavern. Keep things going the next day: play a few rounds at My Old Kentucky Home and then examine the collection at Frazier History Museum.

To see ratings, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Louisville trip itinerary planning tool.

You can drive from Bowling Green to Louisville in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Bowling Green to Louisville. In December, daily temperatures in Louisville can reach 48°F, while at night they dip to 33°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Pigeon Forge.

Things to do in Louisville

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Pigeon Forge

— 5 nights

Center of Fun in the Smokies

A tiny town with big tourist appeal, Pigeon Forge bills itself as the "Center of Fun in the Smokies." Just a short drive from the national park protecting the diverse plant and animal life of the Great Smoky Mountains, the town features numerous places to visit, such as bars, restaurants, cafes, theaters, and shops.
Kids will enjoy Big Top Arcade and Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook. Discover out-of-the-way places like Christmas Place and Arcade City. Go for a jaunt from Pigeon Forge to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see Foothills Parkway Southwest Parking about 40 minutes away. There's much more to do: make a splash at Dollywood, find something for the whole family at The Goat Coaster at Goats on the Roof, revel in the low prices at Tanger Outlets Sevierville, and take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

For photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Pigeon Forge trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Louisville to Pigeon Forge in 5 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of bus, subway, and car. In December, daytime highs in Pigeon Forge are 53°F, while nighttime lows are 36°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to drive to Chattanooga.

Things to do in Pigeon Forge

Theme Parks · Shopping · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Chattanooga

— 3 nights

Dynamo of Dixie

Once saddled with the reputation of being one of the country's dirtiest cities, Chattanooga now boasts a pedestrian-friendly downtown with a network of leafy waterfront trails and free electric shuttles.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Bluff View Art District. Family-friendly places like Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and Chattanooga Riverwalk will thrill your kids. Next up on the itinerary: snap pictures at Walnut Street Bridge, make a trip to The Passage, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and observe the fascinating underwater world at Tennessee Aquarium.

To see where to stay, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Chattanooga online route planner.

Traveling by car from Pigeon Forge to Chattanooga takes 3 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Chattanooga can reach 56°F, while at night they dip to 38°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can catch the flight to Houston.

Things to do in Chattanooga

Parks · Childrens Museums · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites

Houston

— 7 nights

Bayou City

Although urban sprawl remains synonymous with Houston, most of the city's tourist attractions lie within the relatively small downtown area, surrounded by diverse neighborhoods housing the nation's biggest African-American, Asian-American, and Latino communities.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Children's Museum Houston and Brazos Bend State Park. Attractions like Santa's Wonderland and Cockrell Butterfly Center make great kid-friendly stops. Explore Houston's surroundings by going to Galveston (Moody Gardens, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum, &more) and George Bush Presidential Library and Museum (in College Station). There's lots more to do: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Houston Zoo, admire the masterpieces at Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, admire the natural beauty at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, and examine the collection at Houston Museum District.

To find more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Houston trip itinerary app.

Fly from Chattanooga to Houston in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Chattanooga to Houston is minus 1 hour. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Chattanooga in January; daily highs in Houston reach 63°F and lows reach 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Houston

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Tennessee travel guide

4.4
Specialty Museums · Distilleries · Theme Parks
The Volunteer State
Divided by law, geography, and custom into three major regions, represented by the three stars on state's flag, Tennessee boasts a distinctive musical heritage that includes elements of bluegrass, country-western, and blues. With a countryside as diverse as its people, Tennessee includes landscapes ranging from a mountainous region in the east to the lowlands of the west, with gently rolling hills in the middle. For a well-rounded vacation, you can hike remote mountain trails in the morning and explore the crowded bars of Nashville in the evening. Visit the urban attractions, such as Elvis Presley's former residence in Memphis, but don't miss a chance to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, situated in the eastern part of the state.

Kentucky travel guide

4.6
Caves · Specialty Museums · Distilleries
The Bluegrass State
A diverse region of sprawling farmland and rich cultural heritage, Kentucky is the birthplace of American horse racing and home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby. While the cities of Lexington and Louisville experience the majority of the state's tourism, Kentucky is also a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts with its array of natural attractions, including the Cumberland Gap and the world's longest cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park. Take a tour through original Civil War battlefields to delve into the nation's history, or head to one of the many bourbon distilleries to learn more about Kentucky's most famous export.